I just took part in my first formal triathlon! Granted, it was only a super sprint event, but we all have to start somewhere. The distances for this event were 750 metres swimming, 12 miles cycling and 3 mile running. These aren’t far off the kind of distances that I normally practice in-house at the gym, so it was good to finally be able to put it altogether in a semi-competitive setting. Although it is called a super sprint event, most people seem to be using this event as a way into triathlon, rather than an opportunity to show off just how speedy they actually are.
The event was organised by a local triathlon club and there were alternative longer races for people who wanted to test their skills on other distances. The main event was the “Olympic” distance triathlon, which required participants to swim for 2.5 miles, cycle for 25 miles and then run for 6.5 miles. I’m hoping to be able to compete in this version of the race in the next few years, not!
I met a person at the race who actually uses the same gym as I do. We have seen each other in the training room, but haven’t actually really spoken to each other before. They had taken an interest in the triathlon after seeing the British success in the last couple of Olympic Games, and we’re both mightily looking forward to next years games in Rio. Although they had only started training last year, they were already competing in the middle distance races and were nearly ready to move onto Olympic distance events. They are a few years younger than myself though which is an advantage of course! We have agreed to meet up with one another next time we are at the gym, so that we can share our training routine. I have always thought that it was easier to achieve things at the gym when you had a training buddy to work with.
For this event, we started swimming in the pool. The club competes in a lot of outdoor events throughout the rest of the year, but the water is still far too cold at this time of year, even in a wetsuit. I am down to compete in an outdoor super sprint later this year, but I have been advised that I need to try outdoor swimming in a wetsuit before event day. Outdoor swimming is very different to swimming in a pool, because there are different currents and more waves.
The cycling part of the course involved one fairly tough section of incline, which involved powering up a hill in the final section of the course. This was tough going on the legs and I felt very wobbly when I first got off the bike. This slowed my transition down a tiny bit, but other than that I was away fine.
Running has always been the easiest bit for me. I ran before I came to triathlon, so I have always thought of this area as my chance to shine. I caught up with a few people during the final half mile, and ended my race somewhere in the middle of the pack. A great result!